By: Mike Collette (Head Coach/Owner of CrossFit Prototype)
There are only 24 hours or 1,440 minutes in a day. That means there are only 168 hours or 10,080 minutes in a week.
As we break down the numbers on a daily and weekly basis, those hours and minutes start to accumulate. All the roles and responsibilities that we have to ourselves and to others start to take small chunks away from the time that we have. If we average eight hours of sleep per night that means that we only have 16 hours available to be active and give attention to the things that are important in life. Those important things could be anything from working 10-hour days, spending time with your kids, or binge watching Netflix for five hours. Regardless of how your time is spent, that time is always prioritized to what’s most important to you.
As a coach/personal trainer/business owner, most of my conversations are about fitness. The top excuse people give me for not exercising is a lack of time, as in “I can’t find the time to workout” or “I wish there were more hours in the day so I could train.” The reality is, as their fitness trainer I’m not going to tell someone where they should spend their time; I can only make suggestions and consult based on their personal goals. Your time is spent where you value it the most. For those who have serious fitness goals or truly want to get in shape, they will prioritize their time to workout, to train, to sweat, and to reach those goals that they want so badly.
We all know working out is good for us, just as many of us understand what comprises a “healthy diet.” I don’t need to explain the benefits of exercise on your heart, brain, soft tissues, bones, organs, skin etc…you know it! What I do need to explain is how do we translate that understanding into action. I have found four truths that create preconditions for success:.
1.) Start small. Don’t stress yourself out about what you read on an online fitness blog or health magazine about “optimal training volume” and that you need to workout three days in a row, 1 rest day and repeat. Set small goals and creating habits, then build on them. Growth and learning occurs when you are out of your comfort zone, but people tend to shut down if the challenge is too high and they enter the terror zone. If you can develop habits that keep you in the Growth Zone you’ll see remarkable results. Your comfort zone might be working out for 20 minutes, two days per week and that’s a great place to start, and pairing this with a growth mindset will promote your development. For example, if you look at that like “I’m barely doing anything I will never lose the 50lbs I need to” it’s easy to get discouraged, vs. “I have so much room to grow and improve, I can’t wait to take the next step,” your path to success will be inevitable.
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2.) It needs to be fun. Training can be boring if you are doing the same things over and over again. Regardless if you have seen results, you need to love it. I cannot tell you how many people walk through the door of Prototype either afraid of exercise or just hated the idea of getting sweaty and now CrossFit is a big part of their lives! It’s a simple mindset shift, making exercise something you have to do vs. something you want to do. The next time you do something you might not like to do or struggle with, have a conversation with yourself and instead of saying “I have to do X” say “I get to do X!” It is very empowering and can help facilitate a more positive outlook on that activity.
3.) Support system. There are four legs to a table for a reason: support. Similarly, you need to create a base of support that will help facilitate and drive you to change your habits and prioritize exercise. Have a friend pick you up to go to the gym, set reminders and schedule your workouts in your calendar, hire a personal trainer to facilitate your motivation, or even try a CrossFit class to see how the group keeps you going! Your goal is to create habits and modify your behavior so exercise becomes a priority. Give yourself a fighting chance to make the right decisions. Time is not as much of an excuse as you believe it is. You might have to get up a little earlier than you would like, you might have to do a workout at home, and you might even have to shut off the TV earlier than you would like, but it’s all for a good reason!
4.) Value is in the eye of the beholder. As mentioned previously, each person will value their time based on what’s important to them. In order to make fitness a priority and see the true value of it, sometimes it takes some external motivation from others to light a fire. In a previous article I wrote about the difference in intrinsic vs. extrinsic motivation and that extrinsic motivators aren’t the greatest to develop a habit or change habits; however, they are great in order to facilitate intrinsic motivation. This can be anything from a friend recommending you workout, trying a class at their gym, or even seeing someone close to you get amazing results from a particular fitness program. There needs to be self-perceived value present to make the change. It’s okay to have an external catalyst, but durable change requires intrinsic motivation, an interval re-ordering of self-determined priorities.
2017 is here. It’s okay to make a New Year’s resolution to lose weight and workout; let’s just put focus on changing habits, prioritizing your schedule, and not letting excuses get in the way of you getting into the best shape of your life!
Mike Collette is Co-Owner and Head coach of CrossFit Prototype in Westborough, MA. Mike has been in the personal training field for over six years and has 10 years of experience in the field of exercise physiology. Michael graduated Cum Laude from Westfield State University with his Bachelor’s Degree in Movement Science with a concentration in Sports Medicine.